What is The Brawl?
“The Brawl” is a community-focused tournament organized and funded by Adam “Lawler” Thornton, one of the leading voices in the Rocket League community and former commentator/analyst for the Rocket League Championship Series. This is the eighth installment, and eight teams are invited into the tournament. Each round is a single-elimination best-of-five until the grand finals which is a best-of-seven. The prize pool is $2,000, funded by Lawler himself.
Lawler put up his own coin?
That’s correct. He started the first “The Brawl” in July 2019 and got it going by reaching into his own pockets. He has since been able to get community support and sponsorships, but it’s very much driven by Lawler and his efforts.
OK, so where can I watch?
The action will take place on May 2 with a preshow at 3 p.m. ET on Lawler’s channel (twitch.tv/lawler).
Starting at 3:30 p.m ET until the conclusion of the semifinal round, there will be matches taking place on Lawler’s Twitch channel and on the ESPN Esports Twitch channel (twitch.tv/espnesports) concurrently.
The grand finals will be seen on Lawler’s channel starting around 6:30 p.m. ET with an ESPN Esports interview conducted with the winners after the champions are crowned (this will also happen on Lawler’s channel). Both channels will be squad streaming throughout the entire event, so viewers can easily flip back and forth between games they want to watch. SubparButInHD, one of the more beloved figures in the community, will handle casting duties for the ESPN Esports channel games and will also host the pre- and postgame shows. Lawler will be providing commentary on his channel. For the grand finals, the SubParHD team will head over to Lawler’s channel to cast the conclusion.
So who are the teams?
There are eight teams involved in the tournament (recent placement in RLCS and Rocket League Spring Series playoffs in brackets). The full bracket can be found here.
The teams are:
NRG (3rd RLCS, 2nd RLSS)
The trio of Garrett “GarrettG” Gordon, Justin “jstn.” Morales and the only four-time champion Pierre “Turbopolsa” Silfver are certainly one of the ones to watch. Although they recently suffered a 3-0 defeat in the RLSS finals against G2, that doesn’t take away the fact that the reigning world champions are still one of the best teams in the world. G2 are not in this tournament, so many will point to NRG as being a favorite going in. They await the winner of Affinity and the first open-qualifier winner.
Spacestation Gaming (2nd RLCS, 4th RLSS)
The team didn’t have the best Spring Series, finishing fourth with a 9-2 record. Spacestation went 8-1 in the regular season, with only the Soniqs able to defeat them in February. Their second-place RLCS finish is the best in team history. They await the winner of eUnited and the second open-qualifier winner.
Pittsburgh Knights (7th RLCS, 5th RLSS)
After a 3-0 sweep of Spacestation in the quarterfinals in the RLSS, The Knights fell to a reverse sweep at the hands of reigning world champs NRG. The team boasts a very aggressive playstyle which often throws off other teams. A strong showing here can jump start momentum going into next season. The Knights meet Team Envy in the quarterfinals.
Team Envy (as Ghost Gaming, 3rd RLCS, 5th RLSS)
Team Envy as a brand are back in Rocket League after picking up the former Ghost Gaming squad (briefly known as Vanguard before the acquisition). Nick “mist” Costello is the new face on the roster this season, coming to the team after a stint with the Pittsburgh Knights. This will be the first tournament the team competes in as Team Envy, the org owned by esports pioneer Mike “Hastr0” Rufail. They meet Pittsburgh Knights in the QF.
Susquehanna Soniqs (5th RLCS, DNQ for RLSS)
Led by Season 9 North American MVP Nathan “Shock” Frommelt, the Soniqs at times have looked dominant. The team was no doubt upset after not qualifying for the RLSS, and might be looking for a strong showing at The Brawl. The Soniqs meet Rogue to start the tournament.
Rogue (8th RLCS, 3rd RLSS)
A strong third-place finish in the RLSS highlights a turnaround after barely hanging on in the regular season, so Rogue are one of the teams with the most positive momentum going into The Brawl. Cameron “Kronovi” Bills is one of the pioneers of Rocket League and also the longest standing member of this Rogue roster. Leonardo “Turinturo” Wilson recently joined the squad from Charlotte Phoenix.
Affinity (N/A RLCS, DNQ RLSS)
The winners of last season’s Rocket League Regional Series (RLRS), Affinity will be part of Season 10 of the RLCS. The Brawl canl be a great introduction for many fans. Christopher “Majicbear” Acevedo recently participated in the longest game in Rocket League history which spanned across April 13-14, an 11 hour affair that saw MajicBear’s Team Orange best Shock (of the Soniqs) and Team Blue by a final score of 432 – 283. Historically, RLRS teams that get promoted usually get the jump on RLCS teams, especially early on, because the RLRS teams often come more prepared having watched ample footage of the RLCS teams, while the RLCS teams might not have done the same, focusing on other RLCS teams. Whether that plays out at The Brawl remains to be seen.
eUnited (9th RLCS, DNQ RLSS)
A new coach, Mike “Gregan” Ellis, brings championship experience to the squad, and it seems to be paying early dividends. A Game 7 overtime goal vs. the Charlotte Phoenix saved their RLCS hopes for another season, but the team will be looking for more, with The Brawl as the launching point.